If you haven’t played Control yet, you should. It’s a GotY caliber experience. The first playthrough is a sensory experience, as the House is weird as all hell. Figuring out how all the pieces fit together is awesome, and throwing stuff with telekenitic powers does not get old. Clearing it all, I was really hoping for some DLC to expand on it all.
The Jukebox runs came out near the holidays. Timed arena combat with some OK loot. It was OK, but since loot isn’t exactly a driver in Control, there wasn’t a whole lot to replay through. Foundation is a true DLC, expanding on the lore, the enemies, and the skill sets.
You need to have completed the main game to get into this content. As much for the fact the story won’t make any sense if you don’t, as for the fact that the new enemies are quite difficult. I died way more in this DLC than the main game. Enemies have more HP, deal more damage, and are much more evasive. More challenge is good, and it doesn’t feel cheap.
Two new skills, though they don’t have huge impacts on combat. You can create stone, which is mostly for reaching new areas. It can be used to create spikes, but the enemies have to be lured to the location. You can also destroy stone, used to access new areas and crafting mats. Used in combat, this can destroy floors, plummeting people to their death. Which is a neat way to kill the final boss in 2 shots.
There are some additional levels to skills, just stat boosts. Some new mods that tweak gameplay – I added a +hp when hitting with Launch. That seems almost mandatory given the new combat difficulty. Compared to the base game, you’re going to be using different weapon types more often. The sniper and launcher modes are very useful now. The SMG and shotgun are still useless.
It’s all 1 big zone, with 2 main environments to explore. It’s more linear than the base game, and most of it is within tunnels. They play with light/dark themes to add some stress to the game. The TV sidequest in particular is done in pure darkness with a minor source of portable light. The Film Camera sidequest is similar to the Ashtray maze, but due to the more precise platforming requirements, its a tad less fun than novel.
I won’t spoil the story. The Board has issues, you get to read about how the House started, and some of the political bits. I do wish there was more here though – Ash is a fascinating character. It leaves enough breadcrumbs to sow some doubt as to how benevolent the Board is, which always struck me as odd in the base game.
The DLC as whole probably takes 4 hours to run though, side quests and all. There’s 1 secret quest to collect some cat statues, and let me tell you that is one of the most obtuse puzzles I have ever seen. One step is done in the complete dark – and I likely never would have found it without a reddit post.
The Foundation is a good DLC. It’s more of Control, with a few minor tweaks. It’s not an expansion. I’d rather see a sequel than an expansion. There are many veins that are present here. For what it is, it works very well. Highly recommended.